20:51 GMT +318 August 2019
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    A person gets out of the World Trade Organization (WTO) headquarter in Geneva (File)

    Macron Calls for Negotiations on 'Complete Update' of WTO

    © AFP 2019 / FRED DUFOUR
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    PARIS (Sputnik) - French President Emmanuel Macron has called on major international players to prepare a roadmap for reforming the World Trade Organization (WTO), the first part of which can be presented during the G20 summit in Argentina in November.

    "I suggest we hold talks, comprising the United States, the European Union, China and Japan, which will take place also during G20 and OECD [Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development], on reforming the World Trade Organization. The time has come to look into this question and find a specific answer. What we are talking about is a complete update of the regulations which structure international competition," Macron said in an opening speech at the OECD session in Paris on Wednesday.

    The French president specified that the first roadmap could be prepared before the two-day G20 summit in Buenos Aires, scheduled for November 30.

    Reasons for WTO Reforming

    The WTO has been criticized for years by politicians and businesspeople for its inability to ensure that its rules and international agreements are implemented. In late April, German Chancellor Angela Merkel suggested that bilateral agreements may well substitute the WTO's role.

    READ MORE: EU Should Challenge US Exit From Iran Deal in UN, WTO — Austrian Ex-Chancellor

    Macron’s proposal comes two days before the United States intends to apply additional taxes on imported steel and aluminum, a move which has sparked harsh criticism from the European Union and other metals suppliers.

    READ MORE: Trump Says WTO, TPP Not Serving US Interests, Bilateral Deals More Profitable

    In late March, the United States imposed 25-percent and 10-percent tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, respectively. According to US President Donald Trump, the tariffs will be in place for a long time. The European Union and a number of other countries have been granted temporary exemptions from tariffs that will expire on Friday. Several countries, including China, India, and Russia, requested WTO dispute consultations with the United States over their new tariffs.

    READ MORE: China Moves to Unite WTO Members Against US Protectionist Policy

    Tags:
    international trade, reform, World Trade Organization (WTO), Emmanuel Macron, France
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